Hello and welcome to our episode of the Wonder Tooth. How was your week? I hope everything is going well.
So today we are going to talk about oral hygiene tips. So what is oral hygiene? So oral hygiene really is anything that’s in the oral cavity, which includes teeth.
Cheeks, tongue, lips, gums, and even the bone that’s holding your teeth down. Now, how can we take care of the oral hygiene? Of course, the number one thing is brushing and flossing, but it has to be done regularly. How many times do you guys brush? Every day? You get a brush twice. And how do we do that? Morning and evening for how long?
I would say two minutes. Everybody said two minutes. How do we do this? So the, we’re gonna basically, put like section the mouth in like two areas.
Two sides. The right side, the left side. So you gotta do one minute on each side. Top teeth, 32nd, lower T 32nd, the other side left. Top left, 32nd, bottom left another 32nd, and this is where you get your two minutes.
People actually use a little alarm clock or you can get, um, you know, a fancy toothbrush, and some electric toothbrushes.
They have an alarm in them.
Now let’s talk about the brush itself. I would definitely recommend a soft. Toothbrush. Do not use hard. Do not use a medium. Your teeth are not tiles.
Always remember, your teeth are not tiles. The enamel that’s covering your teeth, yes is made of inorganic material, basically, is 97% made of inorganic material.
But you put a lot of pressure and you keep scrubbing your teeth very hard with a hard toothbrush. Believe it or not, the enamel will start to chip.
And this is when you start to see those tiny little dents in the teeth near the gum line, which we call abrasion.
And this happens from extreme, forceful re like really, really hard, forceful scrubbing of your teeth.
Do you think you’re gonna make them white that way? Absolutely not. You’re making them weak.
Oh my God. Don’t do it. Yeah, that’s a really big boo. Do not scrub your teeth. Especially not with a hard toothbrush medium. They do pretty much the same effect, but maybe like a, on a longer time period.
So just get a soft toothbrush. I understand some patients say, oh, well I don’t feel like my teeth are clean.
Well, it really all depends on the technique, and how you are brushing them.
You really need to make sure. You put the bristles, you know that little tiny hair of the, of the brush towards the gum, and you’re gonna basically kind of vibrate it a little bit gently, and then you can put it, you know, uh, slide it down towards the bottom of your teeth.
This, basically, the bristles go a little bit under that tiny little gum, that little area, clean, you know, remove the debris or basically kind of wiggle those little, you know, particle food particles, plaque, or whatever. And then you push it away from your tooth. Then you, you know, you wash it. And you put it again and you keep doing this, so you gotta do this.
How many times did I hear anybody say it twice? A day. Yeah, we got this twice a day for two minutes. All right guys. Yeah. We need to remove the plaque. We need to remove the bacteria. We need to get rid of the food particles that basically. Build on the teeth. Now, how do we get in between the teeth? This is when you get the floss.
There are different kinds. There is the waxed one, the unwed one. I personally like the waxed one because you know, my teeth are a little bit tight, so it kind of slides in between. I cannot tell you like which one you prefer, but whatever works for you, just use it. Try to avoid that one. You know, flosser on a stick.
They don’t really clean your teeth properly, so what do you need to do. You’re gonna put a string, you’re gonna wrap it around your fingers and you’re gonna hold it with your thumbs. I’m probably gonna have to put a video just to show you how to do this, but you basically, you put it in and you wrap it around the one tooth, like a C shape.
You clean it like a saw, and then you take, you pull it down. You wash it with the water like really well, and you put it again in the same spot. Now you’re gonna wrap it around the other tooth because you, you know if you clean the plaque on one side, it can sometimes be pushed to the other side of the tooth.
And this is how you make your teeth like really, really clean, and do not be scared. Push that floss all the way toward the gum line. A lot of patients, they’re scared. As soon as they hit that little contact, they’re like, oh, my teeth are clean. And then they come and I’m like, no, they’re not. No, no, no, I don’t think so.
Oh, did you see that? Yeah, I saw that. And this is when I say you’re probably not, you’re trying your best, but you’re not flossing properly, so you really need to push that floss all the way until it meets the gum Now. If it hits the gum a little hard and it starts to bleed, don’t be scared. That’s a sign of inflammation.
So unless you really like pushing, it’s really hard. But a sign of inflammation that’s basically your body trying to tell you something is wrong. I need you to pay more attention. So the more you floss, actually the, the inflammation, the bleeding is gonna get less. Unless if we have gum disease, and I’m gonna talk about this later.
First, we’re gonna talk about how to maintain, you know, the, the, the health of your teeth, of the gums. We’re gonna brush twice a day, two minutes each, and then we are gonna floss. When do we usually floss? I usually prefer to brush first. Then you floss after and after that comes the mouthwash.
Let’s talk about that now.
All right, let’s talk about the mouthwash. So really you can get anything that you like. Any mouthwash that you like, over the shelf is fine. We have some medicated ones that are really like, um, not for everyday use or unless if you have some serious gum disease and this is what you have to be prescribed or, you know, given to you by your dentist, but the over-the-counter one, they’re all fine.
I sometimes say, you know what the cheapest one is really. How about some, you know, warm salt water, like a, you know, a glass of warm water, put a teaspoon of salt and you gonna kinda. Use it. Don’t use like really hot water or really cold, just kind of lukewarm water and a little bit of salt, and you’re gonna brush, you’re gonna floss and you can rinse with it.
I wouldn’t do it every day. Maybe, you know, when you feel you’re, you know, your gums are a little bit inflamed or a little bit puffy, or if they’re a little bit of bleeding going on there, but you shouldn’t really do it too much now. The best mouthwash that would come after that if something has some fluoride in it.
And why do we like fluoride? Because first of all, you’re not gonna swallow it, but fluoride literally will make your teeth stronger and more resistant to cavities, which we, this is our main goal really at this point. Right?
There is a lot of. You know, controversy going on about fluoride, and I’m gonna really discuss this in one of the upcoming episodes because there is a lot of, yeah, miscommunication. There are a lot of wrong ideas that are circulating around, but I am pro-fluoride because it really works. Now if you go to the dentist, if they tell you you need to get some fluoride, I would really urge you to.
This is basically, it’s gonna be whether, um, um, like a rinse or in a shape of varnish that literally is gonna clean, you know, it’s gonna stick to your teeth and it’s gonna make your teeth much more resistant. And there is chemistry behind that, not chemistry. Like, Ooh, I love you. I love you now. No, no, not like that.
But, well, I think kind of, so. Basically, after you get, you know, your professional cleaning, the teeth have no smear layer, which is made out of food particles and plaque. The smear layer is gone for at least half an hour now. And then it comes back from plaque, and then it starts to kind of, you know, stick to the tooth and then it makes it a little harder to remove.
Once you get your cleaning done, this is the best time to get, you know, um, the fluoride varnish. All of, or, you know, fluoride drinks applied on your teeth. Then what happens? The, the chemistry of the actual enamel. The enamel is made of hydroxyapatite crystals, very tiny little crystals that are resistant.
But if something gets to, you know, gets stuck on them, they can become, you know, a little bit more brittle or more, um, void. Now they’re clean now, and then the fluoride is gonna come and stick. On them and, the chemistry of the enamel is gonna turn into something called hydroxyapatite crystals, which basically they make the plaque and the food particles kind of slide over them, so they don’t, they don’t let them stick on the teeth, so it makes the teeth much more resistant.
This is one. Two, it makes the teeth actually less sensitive, after a cleaning. After a cleaning. Sometimes if you have black or if you even have some buildup, it’s very, you know, you kind of expose some of the dental tubules, which sometimes have some nerve endings. Not the main nerve, but the nerve ending.
That’s why some people, oh, my teeth are a little bit sensitive now. I can’t, you know, when I drink water or cold, it feels a little, you know, sensitive. Yeah, sometimes it happens, especially if you had the buildup and it was cleaned, so this is really normal. But the fluoride, when you put that, it kind of seals everything and makes them, you know, you know, less sensitive, which is much better for you.
Plus, you know, of course, the fact that they are anti-cavities. So let’s go, for fluoride. There you go.
So you got that. Now we’re gonna brush twice a day, two minutes each. We’re gonna floss daily at night, whichever floss is better. The string rather than a stick or you know, whatever. Um, third, we’re gonna. Use mouthwash. Any mouthwash that you like with fluoride would be much better. Now, there is some mouthwash that has alcohol in them.
If you have, you know, dry mouth to begin with, you have to avoid any mouthwash that has alcohol. Bisco, it’s literally is gonna dry your mouth even more. It’s gonna dry the tissues. So if you’re taking medication that co, you know, goes dry mouth or you are taking chemotherapy or under radiotherapy, you gotta use something that is gonna lubricate your tissues, which is something that.
Um, can be like Biotene. It’s over-the-counter. I’m not affiliated with them, but it actually works. And they had they come in the shape of, um, lozenges, uh, toothpaste. There is, um, mouthwash, they’re bioTE and they lubricate your tissues. And this is really for people who have dry mouth and why we don’t want dry mouth because of it.
Makes the plaque and the food debris stick even more to the teeth. And this is when the patient comes with like 10 cavities or gum disease and they’re like, I don’t know what just happened. My teeth were fine. Well now you’re taking some medications and they are affecting all the, you know, the chemistry in your mouth.
And now, well, the bacteria, they love it there and they are sticking more and more and they’re calling millions of other bacteria to come and stick. And there we go. We are in a problem now. So make sure the mouthwash is with alcohol, kind of avoid it if you have a dry mouth. Okay, you got this right, we got this.
All right. Now, a big one in keeping your oral hygiene clean is to avoid sugary and aesthetic foods and drinks. Okay? Foods that are really high in sugar. And acid, they are not good for you.
Yep. Because they’re gonna damage your teeth and they’re gonna give you a lot of cavities, basically. So any sugary drinks. Any candy, like especially sticky candy, like topee, anything that’s really, really sticky, this is what’s gonna really get into those tiny little, you know, um, we call them fishers, like tiny little, you know, um, how do I say this?
Um, little valleys in the back of your teeth. You see like you have like little mountains and then you have the little valleys so they can get in and coast cavities without in them. It’s very hard to brush them once they’re in. That’s a problem, and that’s why we also recommend the use of seals. Um, sealants are highly recommended for six, you know, uh, six-year-old molars, 12-year-old molars.
But even for adults at this point, if you guys have, you know, if you are at high risk of getting cavities, get some sealants. It’s a very thin layer of resin that basically goes and seals those little, you know, those little fishers and prevents you from getting cavities down the line. So I think it’s something very important that you, you should, you know, ask your dentist when you go see them next time.
Now any acidic food like lemon, oranges, uh, tomatoes, strawberry, anything. That you eat like and you’ve, you know, you know there is acid and you gotta rinse with a little bit of water because the more you of, okay, I love lemon, I’m sucking on a lemon, you know what happens? Your teeth, the big start to become a really shiny and very slippery kind of, and this are how sometimes we can, um, Tell the patient, we can tell if the patient has like acid reflux or the patient is, you know, is, you know, has other issues going on.
But make sure if you drink anything that’s other than water, anything, tea, coffee, soda, anything that’s other than water, you gotta make sure you raise with a little bit of water right after. Okay. You got this. I think we got this. I really think so. So after any drinks, That’s not water, coffee, tea, tea, and coffee.
Of course, they’re gonna stain your teeth. Plus they have acid in them as well. So you gotta be really careful. I drink a lot of coffee. I know I’m a suspect. Hey, you know I love coffee. I can’t really, yeah, I can’t function without it. Okay. Drink. A lot of people out there are like me and I drink a 16 ounce in the morning, another 16 ounces.
Oh yeah. I’m a, I love coffee, but hey. I rinse with water all the time. Oh, I do. I really do. Come on. So gonna go back, to brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. We’re gonna take it easy on the sugar. You know, and the acidic stuff. Then of course very important that you go, you know, visit your da, you know, your dentist.
You have to go every six months. If you have, if you’re not at really high risk of cavities or not, or you’re not a high risk of, uh, gun disease. If you have gum disease, which is irreversible, and periodontal disease, which is irreversible, then I definitely would recommend you to go every three to four months, not six months, not what the insurance says.
You gotta take care. You’re gonna own your health. You will own your health. You’re gonna take care of yourself because it’s self-care. This is not insurance care. And this is the part we’re gonna tackle this, we’re gonna talk about this in the future, but you really have to take care of your health. The dentist can identify if you have early signs of tooth decay.
Sometimes if it’s very small, like we call it a class one, which is still in very early signs, like the very early part of the enamel, it can actually remineralize back. Your body can heal itself. It’s not well, basically, they’re gonna tell you what to do. How to floss, how to keep it clean, what to eat. All of that can literally remineralize your teeth if they are still in the early stages of cavities.
And only a dentist can tell you if they are still in the early stages or if they are now medium or severe. And you gotta have to have a like fillings right away. It’s very important to go see the dentist on a regular basis, not because your tooth is hurting right now or not, but because, oh my God, I can’t sleep, I have a toothache.
You got this right? We got this. We’re gonna do this. That’s a big part of educating the patient guys. Now, some patients, they come and they say, um, I have sometimes like bad breath. I’m brushing, I’m flossing, but I have bad breath. I don’t know what’s going on. So, Have you thought about getting a tongue scraper?
Bad breath due to particles basically kind of stuck in your tongue is real and it happens. So what you need to do, is try to get a tongue scraper. Some of them are, um, over the counter. You can find them online, you can find them, um, basically in any pharmacy. Some of them are plastic, some of them are metal, some are disposable, and some are not.
But basically, the tongue, if you stick your tongue out, you can see sometimes it has a little whitish area. This is not really the particles, but the particles can get in between. The white air is basically the whiteish that you see on your tongue. Um, it could be some file form, you know, your skin basically, when it becomes like more of colors kinda, you know, and it becomes a little older and you just scrape it off and then you, oh, you are exposing, especially girls with, know what I mean?
You know, if you’re getting, you know, some nice skin products and then you feel, oh, I’m refreshed because, well, you know what, that thin layer, you know, the dead cells are gone and we all know that because we gotta take care of our skin. So, yeah. It’s exactly the same thing. We’re gonna take care of the tongue as well.
Okay? So we’re gonna get a tongue scraper to try to clean it up. You can also use, sometimes if you don’t have a tongue scraper, like right away, like available, you can use the toothbrush, the back of the toothbrush. You can use it to scrape it off and, you know, keep it clean. But also sometimes bad breath can come from other factors.
Like for example, if you have an ear infection, if you have sinus problems, if you have allergies going on, if you have nose problems, eh, sometimes even if you have stomach problems, it can give you bad breath, you know, like, um, a, a lot of acids or something. You can get that better. I’m like, I’m rushing, I’m flossing, I’m doing everything, and I still have that bad breath.
Something is not right. Well, you know what, it could be something else. As I said, the oral cavity is the entrance to the body, so we gotta take care of this. Right? I hope you know you got, you know, what we talked about today. So basically we talked about it. Brushing and flossing, brushing. We’re gonna brush twice a day.
Soft bristles. You can get any electric toothbrush, they’re all fine. I prefer one in particular. You can always ask me and I’ll, I’ll reply, you know, in the comments. Um, you can also, uh, any floss is fine, whatever you use that you feel like, basically you are cleaning between your teeth, so wax or no wax.
Sometimes there is also a super floss. I would recommend that only if you have implants because it’s a little thicker. Um, Oh, I forgot to tell you this one important thing. Avoid toothpicks. Toothpicks are not good if you have tight contacts. Toothpicks can only work if you have open contact like you have teeth that are separated.
If they are too tight, it’s actually gonna make your teeth kind of separate and it’s gonna push the gum between your teeth further down, which gonna create what we call the black triangles. You don’t want that. You know what? Just avoid those toothpicks and floss.
Brush. You can use a water pick if you’d like too, especially if you have bridges.
We’ll go over that more. Then what comes next After that, we’re gonna use a mouthwash of warm salt water from home. It’s cheap, you know, everybody has it. Or you can use any, uh, over-the-counter mouthwash. I would prefer if you get something with some fluoride in it. Okay. And try to avoid anything with alcohol.
Like any mouthwash, it’s called zero or it has, I think it’s the purple one too. Just, you know, it’s written on it. And for people you know who have already a dry mouth a hundred percent, avoid any mouthwash with alcohol in them, then we’re gonna avoid any sugary intake, any acidic food. We’re gonna try to eat healthy vegetables, you know, fresh foods.
Fresh vegetables, fresh, you know, um, fruits, and we’re gonna try to drink a lot of water. We’re gonna get our six-month checkups and cleanings. If we have no problems or if we have some gum disease going on, then we need to go every three to four months. And you gotta talk to your dentist about that. They know better, especially if your gums are bleeding or if you have a lot of buildups, or you know, if you start to get more staining on your teeth, you need to go more often.
And lastly, for now, we’re gonna talk about more, you know, tongue scraping. Keep it clean. Of course, your toothbrush, we’re gonna replace your toothbrush once the bristles are. Not looking good, so they’re not really doing a good job. Okay. And I think that’s it for now. Um, if you like this, please subscribe.
Come next week and we’re gonna talk about something very interesting to everybody. Okay. I think that’s it for now. Uh, it was a pleasure. And make sure to brush, floss, and keep smiling with Dr. Sad to the next episode, next week. Have a great weekend.
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